What Is an RPM File?

How to open, edit, and convert RPM files

A file with the RPM file extension is a Red Hat Package Manager file that's used to store installation packages on Linux operating systems.

RPM files provide an easy way for software to be distributed, installed, upgraded, and removed since the files are "packaged" in one place.

Completely unrelated to what Linux uses them for, RPM files are also used as RealPlayer Plug-in files by the RealPlayer software to add additional features to the program.

The RPM acronym stands for remote print manager, too, but also might have nothing at all to do with computer files, like when referring to the frequency rotation measurement revolutions per minute.

How to Open an RPM File

It's important to realize that RPM files cannot be used on Windows computers like they can on the Linux operating system. However, since they're just archives, any popular compression/decompression program, like 7-Zip or PeaZip, can open an RPM file to reveal the files inside.

Linux users can open RPM files with the package management system called RPM Package Manager. Use this command, where "file.rpm" is the name of the RPM file you want to install:

rpm -i file.rpm

In the previous command, "-i" means to install the RPM file, so you can replace it with "-U" to perform an upgrade. The command below will install the RPM file and remove any previous versions of the same package:

rpm -U file.rpm

Visit RPM.org and Linux Foundation for a lot more information on using the rpm command.

If your RPM file is a RealPlayer Plug-in file, the RealPlayer program should be able to use it, but you probably can't open the RPM file from within the program itself. In other words, if RealPlayer needs an RPM file, it will most likely grab it from its installation folder since there isn't menu item in the program that can import RPM files.

Several RPM files in Windows 10
RPM Files. Lifewire / Tim Fisher 

RMP files are spelled almost identical to RPM files, and they just so happen to be RealPlayer Metadata Package files, which means you can open both RPM and RMP files in RealPlayer.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the RPM file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open RPM files, see our How to Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.

How to Convert an RPM File

Commands that invoke the Linux Alien software can be used to convert RPM to DEB. The following commands will install Alien and then use it to convert the file to a DEB file:

apt-get install alien
alien -d file.rpm

You can replace "-d" with "-i" to convert the package and then immediately start the install.

AnyToISO is able to convert RPM to the ISO format.

If you want to convert RPM to TAR, TBZ, ZIP, BZ2, 7Z, or some other archive format, you can use FileZigZag. You have to upload the RPM file to that website before you're able to have it converted, which means you then have to download the converted file back to your computer before you can use it.

To convert RPM to MP3, MP4, or some other non-archive format like that, your best bet is to just manually extract the files from the RPM. You can do that with a decompression program like we mentioned above. Then, once you've taken the MP3 (or whatever file) out of the RPM file, just use a free file converter on those files.

Even though it has nothing to do with the file extensions mentioned on this page, you can also convert revolutions per minute into other measurements like hertz and radians per second.

Still Can't Open Your File?

At this point, if your file doesn't open even after following the steps above or installing a compatible RPM file opener, then there's a good chance that you're not really dealing with an RPM file. The most likely case is that you've misread the file extension.

There are lots of files that share similar file extension letters as RPM files but are in fact not related to Red Hat or RealPlayer. EPM is one example, as is RPP which is a REAPER Project plain text file used by the REAPER program.

RRM is a similar suffix used for RAM Meta files. Much like RPP, the two look a lot like they say RPM, but they're not the same and therefore do not open with the same programs. However, in this particular instance, an RMM file may actually open with RealPlayer since it's a Real Audio Media (RAM) file — but it doesn't work with Linux like RPM files do.

If you don't have an RPM file, use Google or Lifewire to research the file's actual extension to learn more about the programs that can be used to open or convert it.